That Blue Square Thing

Exam Prep

For the CIDA web design exam.

There are detailed guides to work through some of the exam papers on the 4 Toonz Radio, Smarts Leisure Park and Recycle Drive pages. The Crawdale Summer Sports resources take you through a completed paper and ask you to mark it.

The key to remember in an exam is S I M C A T E.

PDF iconS is for Setup

PDF iconI is for Images

PDF iconM is for Master

PDF iconC is for Content - including images, audio and video files

PDF iconA is for Accessibility - dealing with visually impaired users

PDF iconT is for Testing

PDF iconE is for Evaluation - originally written by Niall who never tired of telling people he got an A in his exam...

Useful skills

The Image Editing page has a number of useful skills bits on it, including reformatting and resizing images in Paint.

PDF iconMaking a banner - a key skill in every exam paper. Make sure to read the paper to get the width right.

PDF iconAdvanced Textbox Skills - setting the width and height of text frames, adding borders an floating images ot the right. These are commonly used skills

PDF iconRollover Navigation Buttons - creating rollover navigation buttons. This is a key skills that you need beyond using standard navigation bars. This method uses the Button editor built in to WebPlus.

To reduce the size of text on a button just resize the textbox in the button editor. I only just discovered this (because it's so intuitive...) so it needs adding to the guide.

PDF iconUsing Hex Codes - setting specific colours using Hex Codes. This is increasingly being asked for so it's a good idea to know how to do this

PDF iconTips on Colour Schemes

PDF iconRollover images - the general use of rollovers on pages

PDF iconUsing Hotspots - these let you make part of a page into a hyperlink

PDF iconUsing HTML Tags - a quick and easy way to add H2 or H4 tags to a page

PDF iconSections and Anchors - this very occasionally comes up

Multimedia Assets

Sound, video and animations will cause some issues in exams. In particular, you may need to convert audio or video files first.

PDF iconUsing animations - inserting Flash (SWF files) and Animated GIFs

PDF iconDealing with audio files - which will need to be converted to either MP3 or WAV

PDF iconDealing with video files - which will need to converted to MP4 format first

Exam Paper Guidelines

The exam papers (so far) have tended to include pretty similar things. There are bits, though, which are certainly "Tricky" and you have to know how to read the exam paper - and what the paper means.

I've picked these out - it helps to know what they are so that you can avoid the mistakes that people seem to make.

PDF iconSmarts Leisure Park - Tricky Bits - note that this was the sample exam piece

PDF iconRecycle Drive - Tricky Bits - January 2014

PDF icon4Toonz Radio - Tricky Bits - Summer 2014

Note that I can't put the whole of an exam paper up here. If I teach you then see me or contact me and I can send you one directly.

Exam Software

It would be handy if you could get some practise with the software you'll use in the exam. Fortunately Serif have a free basic version you can use with almost all the same key features.

> Free version of Serif WebPlus

There are some screens that will keep on bugging you to buy the full version but it's free and there's no time limit on it - so a pretty good deal.

You will need to register an e-mail address with Serif and get a registration key. Talk to your adult administrator for your home computer before you install any software of course...

Test users (December 2014) report that it's not possible to embed video in the trial version of WebPlus or to use ALT text on images. Other than that it seems to do most of the things required in an exam.